Sunday, February 14, 2010


Are you tired of cute names for all the ding-dang blizzards yet? I'm trying to muster the enthusiasm for some SERIOUSLY NECESSARY exercise out there, but it's snowing again. And that means that all the ice is coated with snow, and I will probably bust my shit while I'm out walking. The other day I laughed aloud at my desk when I randomly remembered college lingo for falling: we would say "I bought it on the way to the library today," which evolved into "I totally made a purchase on the path to your dorm dude." Thinking about "making a purchase" was what cracked me up. "Taking a digger" was also popular. So far I've only fallen once this winter, and you best believe I am now knocking wood.

Sooooo. Hi internet, how are you? I've been around, just a little quiet over here. This new life schedule is a bit ass-kicking, for one thing, and for another, I find that I'm very much aware of how easily findable I am on this blog, and how easily the details of my life (however sketchily or obliquely reported) might get back to my students or people with whom I have a professional-not-personal relationship--and that doesn't leave me with very much I can comfortably say. Which is too bad, because blogging about teaching would probably be good fun. I'm just having that thing that people have when they start out blogging anonymously to a small crew and end up blogging with a barely-veiled identity to people who probably know them in real life.

I can tell you this: however much I may bitch aloud or quail privately about the prospect of planning classes or dealing all day long with various large personalities seriously up in my grill, I love teaching. I am so much more interesting and invigorated when I'm doing something I love. Which might sound like a big "duh" but when you become accustomed to leading a sort of mediocre professional life--by which I mean whatever it is you do to make money to live on--you forget how different it is to be doing something that feels important.

The schedule is a bit hardcore, I admit. Normally you'd see 20 students and teach your class over the course of a week, but in order to maintain my desk job and keep some semblance of a home life, I'm packing all of that into three days. I've managed all right these last two weeks, but when I get home on Thursday night I crash hard. And this was only the second week, and so far I've not had to do any of my usual Sunday morning gigging (though I have had other weekend singing both weeks). I can just see that by spring break I am going to need to sleep for three days.

One good thing about this schedule is that it's imposing some discipline that I generally lack. I already talked about the outfit planning and its impact on my packing (it's already done for the week. I might have to institute this system permanently). I also have to do meal planning that I don't usually do, and sit down on Sundays and write a lecture or two for the coming week. I'm generally a last-minute kind of operator, so it feels highly unusual (and also nice) to be sitting here at 5 PM on Sunday having finished the lecture/lesson plan that I'm going to do on Tuesday. But I have to do it that way, because on Monday I work all day and then drive all evening and cannot be pulling late nights doing class prep or I will lose my shit.

Also, I'm sleeping like crap during the middle of the week. It's partly because I'm in a low-rent hotel room, but I think I also need to get some hard, exhausting exercise, and so far I haven't figured out how to get that into my schedule apart from jumping around while I'm watching LOST. And now I have come full circle in this post, and need to stand up, and shovel a path to the street. Hi-ya!


  1. I don't know if you are okay with working out to dvds or not, but Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred is pretty good. It's only 25 mins, but a solid 25 mins AND you only need 3 lbs (or 5 if 3 is too little) and maybe a yoga mat if you're doing this in a motel room. It's a good supplement to other stuff or a good thing to help you feel like you did *something* that day. That's how I use it, anyway.

  2. One the best things I ever did for learning time management was to teach 5 classes at once. It was not good for my mental or hysical health, or for anything else in my life, but it greatly improved my time management skills!

  3. I also recommend the Shred. I'm on day 4 and it's kicking my ass in the best possible way.